Margaret Austin of Escondido was the first person in line at the fair's front gate and said she has been for at least the past 25 years. She woke up at 3:00 a.m. to board a 5:00 a.m. bus, arriving at the gate around 7:30 a.m. She says she comes to see the “piggies.” Her walking cart was filled with pig memorabilia. Her T-shirt was made for her by the Swifty Swine Pig Racers, a popular show at the fair.
Prior to opening the main gate, members of the Conehead family (following the fair's "Out of This World" science-fiction theme) welcomed the hundreds standing in line. They advised everyone to visit their UFO's crash site in “Area 50-Fun” in the infield area.
In line behind Ms. Austin were Debbie Capp and Diane Albone, both from El Cajon, wearing T-shirts that read “I ♥ The Fair.” They said they’ve ended up behind Austin for the past several years.
At another gate near the entrance, The Blanco family were first in their line, arriving at about 9:30 a.m.. They had driven down from Kernville.
Here’re some other first-hour firsts at the fair:
At 11:10 a.m., Noel Caceres and his friend Branden Ricca were the first to slap down $20 each at the Bacon-A-Fair booth for the roasted turkey leg wrapped in a pound of bacon.
At 11:20 a.m., while waiting for the carnival rides to open at noon, City Heights teenager Veronica Flores was the first to give veteran carnival barker Steve Vasquez (12 years at Del Mar) her five-dollar bill, at his Bank-a-Ball booth. As her 15 friends looked on, her three tossed balls bounced out of the wicker basket, failing to score a large stuffed animal.
At 11:25 a.m., the Smith family of Oceanside were the first to enjoy fresh-cooked donuts at Dixie's Mini Donuts. The four boys and mom Patty ordered several dozen.
At 11:50 a.m., La Costa resident Nancy Hawk (Tony Hawk's mom) and her friend Yesmien became the first to stand in line to ride the ferris wheel. They said they came specifically for the ride and to have their favorite treat — cotton candy.
The San Diego County Fair runs through July 4 (closed on Mondays, except July 2).